Awesome and amazing is a great way to describe local writers Anne Hensley and Emily Kastner. Two years ago they started their own program Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK). The idea is to improve reading and writing in the Kalamazoo area and bring it in the community. They offer workshops on creative writing, summer camps, college prep courses and many wonderful opportunities for kids of all ages.
“Our aim is to support learning and growth through writing and reading support,” Hensley said. This program gives students a fun way to write well but not the standard classroom writing. “We give them publishing opportunities and workshops and summer camps,” Hensley continued.
“Give us more ideas and describing words to give better details,” said Loy Norrix freshmen Brigetta Bernhard when asked how the programs improved her writing. Bernhard has taken three classes at RAWK. She has had a few of her pieces published in the collections of short stories that RAWK publishes.
Hensley and Kastner have been friends for years, both with the intention of beginning a program with these characteristics. Neither knew each others thoughts, until they came together with the idea for RAWK.
“Individually it was something we each kinda wanted to do and didn’t know the other person wanted to do it too,” Kastner said.
Starting small is always a great way to start and it is no different here. First worked with their friends kids, including Bernhard, eventually growing, in hopes to keep growing.
This program is great for kids in any age group in Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) and even kids outside the district. It gives kids a creative atmosphere with a chance to speak freely, with small with a small ratio between students and teachers.
“We wanna help people feel confident in writing and communicating when they get into college” stated Hensley.
Upcoming events in January and February 2015 More information found on their website: http://www.readandwritekzoo.org
- I’m A Poet, and Didn’t Know It! (K-2nd)
-January 24th @ 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm
- Readers’ Theater (2nd- 8th)
-February 21st 10:00 am-4:00 pm